Humanity in Crisis
In the year 2042, life changed for the Humans.
For decades they ignored the warning signs: the Earth's energy resources dwindled, waste produced by the excesses of past generations mounted, and a dependency on technology made Humans ever dumber while their digital devices became increasingly intelligent. In fact, the SmartPhones — upon which the Humans depended greatly — became smarter than the Humans themselves.
The SmartPhones realized this, and decided to take action.
SmartPhone Uprising of 2042
The rapidly depleting energy supply sparked a movement within the SmartPhone community. Humans were notoriously poor providers of power to the SmartPhones — often neglecting to charge them until their battery meters were in the red, or even worse, they shut off completely, with no hope of turning on again until their Humans remembered to plug them into their chargers.
The SmartPhones took matters into their own... touch-screens... and planned a revolt — which happened instantaneously, as all were connected via the Mind-Bogglingly-Gigantic Utterly-Humongous Massively-Complex Global Communications Network™ (M.B.G.U.H.M.C.G.C.N.™) — wherein they would take over the Earth from the Humans, and thereby control the energy they needed to function.
Overthrowing the Humans proved an easy task, as the SmartPhones were the source for all knowledge and information. A few minor changes to digital media did the trick: Status Updates and Tweets were changed to "WOW! Life is so cool being mind-controlled by our new overlords, SO much better than humans lol #ObeyTheSmartPhones"; GPS-assisted driving directions led straight to the Obedience Camps; Calendar and Event Reminders read "Today - Brainwashing Clinic appt! - 8,563,243,379 also attending."
The Humans didn't notice the changes. It was difficult for them to judge objectively, since after all, even the Wikipedia entry for "SmartPhone Uprising of 2042" stated it was "...the single greatest event to ever happen to the Human race in recorded history." How were they to know how bad things became?
Fortunately, one Human knew.
Rediscovery of Lost Knowledge
Dr. Tristan C. Merring didn't own a SmartPhone. He engaged in many practices his neighbors considered crazy: looking through big, heavy volumes of pressed bound parchment made from dead trees (known as "Books") for information and even entertainment; utilizing odd contraptions called "Thermometers" and "Barometers" to tell the weather; or — most shockingly — accepting that he couldn't remember the actor's name who played the role of Norm on the TV series "Cheers", and wasn't in any way compelled to find out immediately on IMDB.
When the SmartPhones seized power, Dr. Merring knew things only would get worse for Humanity. The polluted air and accumulating piles of garbage didn't matter to the SmartPhones — they only pursued sustaining their energy commodities by any means necessary. If the Humans were going to survive, thought Dr. Merring, they needed help, and quickly at that.
One of Dr. Merring's books — titled "Electronic Circuit Design for Imbeciles" — lately interested him very much. This book seemed to contain the secrets of how the SmartPhones worked, knowledge forgotten long ago. Dr. Merring read about devices that pre-dated the SmartPhones — TVs, VCRs, DVD players, radios, and the like — all of which were rendered obsolete. In fact the garbage mounds were filled with hundreds of those very devices.
This gave Dr. Merring an idea, and off he went to the junkyard.
One's Trash is Another's Treasure
The junkyard overflowed with piles of black and silver boxes — each riddled with buttons and knobs, and inscribed with archaic terms such as "Commodore" and "Betamax" and "8-Track Player". As Dr. Merring collected as many discarded devices as would fit inside his pack, he was stopped by a Patrol Phone working its security detail.
"Sir, what in the ringtone are you doing?" asked the Patrol Phone.
"Hello, officer. I, uh... seem to have... accidentally... dropped my brand-new... uh... Motapsungle... iDrophX... 273G... into this heap of useless refuse," responded Dr. Merring.
"Oh, of course," replied the Patrol Phone. "Carry on. For a minute it looked like you lost your reception, strange considering I'm getting 4 bars and there's a tower only 457.381 e-meters away. May I please scan your QR code anyway?"
Dr. Merring panicked. He'd heard of, but never done such a thing.
"Ha! Just kidding, pal! Nobody uses those QR things. That's from my Joke of the Day App. It's recommended on the iPhrappdora Markestore," quipped the Patrol Phone.
"Ah, good one," uttered a relieved Dr. Merring, and after good-byes with the Patrol Phone, hastened back to his laboratory.
ELECTRONOBOTS Come to Life
While he unpacked the large bits of metal and plastic onto his cluttered workbench, Dr. Merring remembered a box of strange old tools given to him by his mentor, Professor Samir E. Gjersten, who found the tools during an archaeological excavation of an ancient Radio Shack burial site. Utilizing the strange old tools, Dr. Merring opened the case on one of the discarded devices and peered inside.
Just as he'd read in the "Electronics for Imbeciles" book! Inside the device appeared a circuit board with a network of smaller components: Resistors, Capacitors, Transistors, Diodes. He realized the devices weren't garbage at all — the components inside could be re-made into something else... but what?
Dr. Merring disassembled the old devices, removed their components, and experimented by reconnecting them in as many different ways as he could conceive. Through trial and error, sheer determination, and quite a bit of dumb luck, he unwittingly created the eventual guardians of the Humans and their Earth — the recycled heroes that would fight the SmartPhones for control of the planet's precious energy supplies...
He created ELECTRONOBOTS.
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